As each day passes I feel like a stronger and more knowledgeable man. Although, one could not prepare themselves for a life in a wheelchair at age 17 in some ways I feel as if it is truly made me a better person.
When I think back to the way I was in high school and my interests at the time, things have changed dramatically. Although I’m still interested in cars, as I was at the time and let’s just face it, women are always on a man’s mind, I’ve done a total 180.
I was so selfish at the time, although I know I still am in many ways. Each day when I wake up I have some sort of an agenda on my mind. Unlike when I was 17 writing lists of the next truck part that I desired and could not live without, now my mind is on the world.
I feel as if it is my duty to do something constructive each and every day and I truly do look forward to the endeavor. There are so many things in this world that I feel I can personally change for the better, for many people. Maybe that sounds “cocky,” and if it is, it is one of those traits that I carried along from high school.
Although I am only a 23-year-old still in college, I feel as if I can do anything. You give me a challenge and I will take it head on. I want to advocate for children and adults with disabilities, explaining how things are different but in many ways are still the same. People should know the way things are and the way people feel, we are all human when it comes down to it.
When I was in the hospital early on, quite frankly, I did not want to live. Things could not be more different today, there is not one day that I wake up thinking about my disability.
Lately, my first thoughts in the morning are what e-mails I’m going to send to what Congressman or Senator trying to advocate for more accessibility, more exposure and more independence for people with disabilities. Airlines are definitely first on my list.
The more I travel around the country, the more I see that can be improved. I see this world of ours as a challenge and an opportunity to make things better for myself and others. I am only one person with many ideas… Most ideas I can’t remember the next morning but, I am determined. So long as I roll or walk this Earth, the job will not be done.
Now, I definitely don’t want to be that guy that stuck around too long and everybody brushed aside but, there is more to do. Hell, maybe it’s sports that I get into and I would love that but, whatever it is there is nothing I feel as if is in my way. When looking in the mirror I do not see a guy with a disability, only a really handsome dude with a lot left to do in this life.